Last night was one of those nights where my husband had just landed, the kids had after-school activities, and I still hadn’t cleaned out the refrigerator. By this time in our relationship, it should come as no shock to you to learn that we opted for dining out rather than cooking in …
So, we made our way to the local family-style tavern-ish place. I guess you could call this an American-style “Pub” for lack of a better term. As we walk through the restaurant, a little boy I’ve never seen before in my life looks up and greets my son with a big “Hi!” When we get to our table, I ask my son who said “hi” to him. One of the big kids from school, he explains. By which, he means one of the boys having fun playing games and running around on the other playground while my son is still stuck on the Kindergarten side of the fence. The ones he watches longingly … wishing he was old enough to climb the jungle gym and kick the soccer ball with them.
My husband and I have been talking about how we need to provide more opportunities for our son to play with older friends–rather than always playing with his little sister or younger cousins. Before we know it, the little boy is at our table, inviting our son to go shoot pool with him. Sure, we say … you can go all the way over there to the other side of the restaurant and shoot pool with your new friend. So, he makes his way over there. So close, and yet so far away. I don’t take my eyes off of him.
A few minutes later, he’s back at our table asking if he can have a Root Beer. Sure. We can make that happen. When the food arrives, my husband takes a plate over to the high bar-table that they’re sitting at, and tests a bite to be sure the pizza’s not too hot. My son looks at his new friend and says in the best nonchalant tone he can muster “sometimes my Pops checks my food for me.”
“It’s cool,” his friend responds. “That happens to me sometimes too.”
I’m still on the opposite side of the restaurant watching this all unfold. What just happened? No more than an hour ago, I had to pick my son up off the ground and comfort him like a six-month old when his snack spilled at the park. And now, my six-year old son is over there–running the pool table like a sixteen-year old.
Did I just walk into a time warp? Somebody stop the music (that he just selected on the juke box). One of us isn’t old enough for this to be happening right now.
I need to freeze this moment in time while I figure out which part needs to be minimized. (Although I’m pretty sure I already know it has something to do with me and not him.)